Our 11 Best Grilled Cheeses Because ‘Jane the Virgin’ Is Back

March 27, 2019

The final season of Jane the Virgin premieres tonight, which can only mean one thing: grilled cheese for dinner. If you’re as obsessed with this American telenovela as I am, you already know that protagonist Jane Villanueva’s all-time favorite food is a grilled cheese sandwich. She swears by one-third white cheddar, one-third yellow cheddar, and one-third grated American cheese. But if you ask me: There’s no wrong way to grilled cheese.

Below are 11 of our favorite recipes on the site. Even if you aren’t watching the premiere, all make an extra-quick, extra-good dinner—bonus points for tomato soup on the side. Oh, and if you’ve never even seen the show? The first four seasons are available on Netflix. You can thank me later.

1. Ruth Reichl’s Diva of a Grilled Cheese

Photo by James Ransom

Iconic food writer Ruth Reichl isn’t messing around: Her grilled cheese is not only chock-full of alliums (shallot, leek, scallion, and/or onion), but it also puts cheese on the inside and outside, where it forms a frico-like crust.

2. Parker & Otis' Pimento Grilled Cheese With Bacon & Tomato

Photo by James Ransom

If you can grate cheese, then you can make pimento cheese. (And you should!) Parker & Otis in North Carolina turns theirs into a grilled cheese with sourdough bread, bacon, and tomato.

3. Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

Photo by James Ransom

Not today, fussy phyllo. Spinach, feta, dill, and garlic make this sandwich part-spanakopita, part–grilled cheese, and I’m all here for it.

4. Slab Grilled Cheese

Photo by Julia Gartland

Feeding a crowd? (Say, a Jane the Virgin watch party?) This large-format grilled cheese swaps out sliced bread and turns to a sheet pan of focaccia.

5. Mayo Grilled Cheese

Photo by Mark Weinberg

My go-to. Instead of butter on the outside of the bread, use mayonnaise. It’s slower to burn in the pan (giving that cheese lots of time to get melty) and adds awesome flavor.

6. Inside Out Bagel Grilled Cheese

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Inspired by Sadelle’s in New York City, this grilled cheese uses an inside-out bagel instead of sliced bread. Plain would work, sure, but I’m reaching for an everything or pumpernickel.

7. Mustardy Grilled Cheese

Photo by James Ransom

I love serving grilled cheese sandwiches with a mustard-dressed salad, so this feeds two birds with one scone. Mustard greens and stone-ground mustard balance out all that cheesy richness.

8. Labneh Grilled Cheese

Photo by Molly Yeh

Often called a “yogurt cheese,” labneh is ultra-strained yogurt, which gives this cheddar-Parm sandwich a tangy, gooey edge above the rest. You can swap in whole-milk Greek yogurt in a pinch.

9. Grilled Cheese Egg in a Hole

Photo by James Ransom

Two of my favorite foods are grilled cheese and egg in a hole, so this recipe mashup is a literal dream come true. You, too? Make sure to cut the heat when the yolk is still runny.

10. Wylie Dufresne's Soft-Scrambled Egg Grilled Cheese

Another eggy number—this time, with soft-scrambled eggs (cream cheese makes them extra, well, creamy) and melty-as-it-gets American cheese.

11. Waffled Grilled Cheese

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Can you waffle grilled cheese? Of course you can! This recipe opts for Saint André, a triple-cream, cow’s milk variety—but any melt-friendly cheese works.

What’s your favorite way to make grilled cheese? Share your method in the comments!
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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


AntoniaJames November 6, 2023
I recommend taking a page out of Nancy SIlverton's book, to add pickled red onions to your grilled cheese sandwich. Grate one kind of sharp cheese, layer it first followed by the pickled onions and another layer of grated cheese, either the same or something different. For the pickled onions, I use the recipe embedded here . ;o)
Nelo S. May 25, 2019
I’m loco for Jane. I Have seen every single episode. No one else I know watches it so it’s frustrating not having anyone to discuss it with. Should she be with or end up with Michael or Raphael? I know who my choice would be. It remains to be seen. All the characters are magnificent. If I had to choose one favorite, it would have to be Petra. Her character, played brilliantly, is such a grande mess.
Tom T. March 27, 2019
Anything after the cheese, it becomes a melt. Many of these are just really good sandwiches, and that's okay. The spanakopita looks great.
Smaug March 27, 2019
Recently dug out my old Betty Crocker sandwich press and have been having fun with that; I like TJ's "unexpected" cheddar for this; also sometimes add something like leftover taco filling or salsa.
Emma L. March 27, 2019
I haven't tried TJ's unexpected cheddar! Gotta get on that.